UK - Northern Light Stage & Technical Services has announced the successful management buyout of its hire department with the formation of NL Productions Ltd.

Intended to capitalise on the growing order book of the last two years and under the leadership of managing director Phil O'Halloran, the new business will operate as a unique alliance with the hire department of Northern Lights' sister company Stage Electrics.

Phil O'Halloran commented: "Our local knowledge and capabilities within our specific market area coupled with the backing of an alliance relationship with Stage Electrics provides an ideal combination to drive continued growth and deliver value for customers that will be a benefit to all parties."

Providing technical expertise, design and equipment NL Productions offers lighting, sound, AV, staging, rigging and power distribution to events across Scotl

UK - The sixth School Theatre Support Group (STSG) conference took place in February 2015 at the Bacon Theatre, Dean Close School, Cheltenham. The event was attended by technicians, managers and teachers from school theatres and drama departments around the country.

Workshop sessions on a range of relevant technical topics were provided by AC Entertainment Technologies, Stage Electrics and White Light, alongside displays from GDS and iStudio Projects. Charcoalblue Theatre Consultants also provided sponsorship.

This year's conference marked the tenth year of STSG as an organisation, having grown from an informal group of like-minded individuals, to now being affiliated with the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT). This important link gives wider recognition to theatre work within schools, as well as encouraging the development of the next generation of theatre pro

Switzerland - A new website marks the official launch of the Schertler Group of companies, as its members formalise a corporate re-branding that has been in progress for several months. The group comprises Schertler SA, Swiss manufacturer of high quality contact microphones and compact acoustic and electric amplification systems, SR Technology, the Italian loudspeaker systems manufacturer (wholly owned by Schertler since 2012) and Velvet Strings SA (developed and owned by Schertler).

The group's new website offers pro audio customers, hi-fi enthusiasts and performing musicians an extensive range of products from amplifiers, preamps and contact microphones, through to compact active and passive loudspeaker systems for live performance, home listening and installation, as well as high quality string sets for 'cello and bass, which are soon also to be available for violin, viola an

UK - Star Events rounded off a successful re-brand launch event at the Event Production Show by signing a service partner contract with sports specialist Footwise UK, under its Brazilian Minds in Fusion banner.

The deal provides Star Events with high-level representation and experience in Brazil and gives Minds in Fusion access to Star's lauded logistical and technical abiolities, and equipment, ahead of the Rio Olympics in 2016.Minds in Fusion produced the official Promotional Plan for the 2014 World Cup on behalf of the Brazilian Government. Football legend Cafu, Brazil's most capped player, is the company's global ambassador and Minds has worked with his foundation in Sao Paulo since 1999.

Roger Barrett, Star Events' special projects director, and Dominic Barrett-Evans, founding partner at Minds in Fusion, negotiated heads of terms on a UKTI trade mission to Rio at the end

Poland - Located in the provincial capital city of Lublin in eastern Poland, Arena Lublin is a new 15,500 seat capacity football stadium. Built on the land of a former sugar factory, the stadium's surrounding area has been fully landscaped and is bordered by trees, with lawns to the adjacent river. Home ground to the football club Motor Lublin, the city is proud of its new landmark venue.

With unequalled experience in stadium audio in Poland, Tommex ?ebrowscy Sp. J. was commissioned to design and install the sound for the new venue. "We designed the system based on Dynacord electronics with Dante protocol networks and Community R Series loudspeakers," said Marcin Zimny, sales director of Tommex. "It's a combination that gives us outstanding audio quality and proven reliability."

The control centre of the sound system is sited in the commentary room with a D

UK - When the annual TPi Awards switched from the Hammersmith Novotel to Battersea Evolution in 2015, turnkey event technology specialists VME were delighted.

Moving across the river to the large, wide open 5,500 sq.m Evolution temporary structure in Battersea Park was almost familiar territory, and the restricted sightlines and low balconies that had challenged them at the Novotel became a thing of the past. "We have worked in similar venues at Aintree and Tatton Park and are entirely comfortable in this marquee type of venue," he said. And of course he knew that the offsite sound restrictions imposed would pose no problem for MLA, with its advanced multi-cellular control software.

The Manchester-based company fielded its MLA Compact and MLA Mini systems to stunning effect - and leading the praise afterwards was the compere himself, stand up comedian Russell Kane.

USA - Every year, the NFL Super Bowl attracts hundreds of millions of viewers; many are there for the football game. Others are there for the halftime. The core create team includes executive producer Ricky Kirshner of Touchdown Entertainment, production designer Bruce Rodgers of Tribe Design and special effects designer Mark Grega of Strictly FX. "The production is really a team effort. It's the third year that we've been working with Mark; his creativity and experience are a vital part of creating a memorable Super Bowl Halftime," states Rodgers.

For the Super Bowl XLIX Pepsi Halftime featuring Katy Perry, the special effects portion of the production was remarkably flexible. "We change the show up until the day of- in fact, we made changes on Super Bowl Sunday, because of the camera shots. We try to maximize the best shot that the director, Hamish Hamilton, is

UK - Having already supplied new Soundcraft Vi3000 consoles for installation at Liverpool University and at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, UK rental company Adlib has now added two Vi3000 consoles, plus two Soundcraft Realtime Rack plug-in engines, to their own rental inventory.

Packaged with the Realtime Rack and utilising the Vi3000's on-board Dante interface, the compact rental system provides 64-channel recording, virtual soundcheck, and integrated UA plug-in capability alongside the Vi3000's acclaimed sound quality and ease of use.

Dave Jones, Adlib director commented, "We have packaged the Vi3000s with a touchscreen interface to the Realtime Rack via a mac mini which can be used for virtual soundcheck and audio playback using the console's on board Dante interface. This combination makes a very compact 64 channel recording package with integrated plugins."

(Jim

Puerto Rico - LumenRadio once again worked with the extraordinary lighting magician Tupac Martir on Palomino, a desert Island off the coast of Puerto Rico and home to the legendary Bacardi Triangle party.

Three jumbo jets from three cities across the world, flew the world's hottest artists and 1862 invited guests to a private island in the Caribbean Sea to party in one of the most mysterious places on earth. Headlined by Calvin Harris, Kendrick Lamar and Ellie Goulding, the three-night music festival brought some of the world's leading artists together for a gig of epic proportions.

For three nights, Bacardi took over the 5-star resort, El Conquistador and transformed it into one of the most spectacular venues on earth. A total of 14 universes of LumenRadio's CRMX Nova TX2 RDM units were used to transfer reliable wireless DMX/RDM data to four large areas across the resort. 22

Australia - For the past three years, Entertainment Installations has been supporting the long-standing Twilight at Taronga summer concerts in Sydney with production services.

Based an hour north of the city, the installation and production specialists can hardly have taken on a more challenging task, since the concerts take place in the middle of the busy Taronga Park Zoo, with restricted site access. Despite its picturesque setting, with around 1600 people nightly picnicking as the sun sets behind the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, in the past off-site noise has been a real issue.

"Being a Sydney Harbourside location there is a lot of 'old money'," observes Entertainment Installations' MD, Neale Mace. "These are well-to-do residents who you don't want complaining about noise. There is also the issue of the animals themselves, the elephants in particular are s

UK - TNA (Total Non-stop Action) Wrestling stormed British shores this month for a series of adrenaline-fuelled shows with lighting operator Andre Huff running the show on an Avolites Sapphire Touch console, and ART2000 dimmers providing the power behind the scenes.

The dynamic tour, featuring some of the biggest names in world wrestling, had a vibrant light show designed by Emmy award-winning LD Jeff Bornstein and used production gear and crew provided by Ian Livie.

"Jeff instructed me he wanted big two-tone looks for each wrestler's entrance, rather than a lot of flash and trash with the lights," says Huff, an Emmy-nominated LD and operator of 24 years, with significant combat sports experience.

"We chose to do big panning movements with two colours and sometimes a gobo. No real crazy flashing looks with a lot of colour changes."

Knoxville-based Limel

Russia - Leading Russian consumer electronics retailer M.Video has had its "best New Year's Eve event in history", thanks to technical producers MAX'N'MAX and lighting designer Roman Stolyarov choosing the super powerful Clay Paky A.leda B-EYE K20, Sharpy Wash 330 and Alpha Spot HPE 1500 for the event's live stage shows.

Stolyarov's design saw a central chandelier truss above the stage in the Moscow Expocentre rigged with 32 x B-EYEs, which were supplied by rental company Arlecchino Group. Throughout the evening there were varying performances by M.Video's staff, directed by George Dolmazyan.

"As the chandelier was the focal point, Roman used the B-EYEs' graphic light effects and vibrant colours to create the varying looks for each performance," says MAX'N'MAX's production director Maxim Korotkov. "It was our first time working with the B-EYE and its i

USA - The potential for output variations that seem to be inherent in LEDs can be problematic for entertainment lighting manufacturers who are in greater need of consistent colour and brightness.

The industry is concerned with a more complete testing of the performance of light engines. Composed of the combination of one or more LED modules, together with an LED driver (also known as electronic control gear, or ECG), the variations in light engine output account for most of the variations in LED colour temperature, brightness and other output characteristics.

To alleviate this problem, many LED light engine manufacturers provide 100 percent "functional testing" of lamps along with first article and periodic inspections of a production run. However, functional testing merely validates that the lamps will illuminate, and usually don't analyze the CCT (correlated colour

USA - Founded in 2005, the Rocky Mountain Classical Academy is a successful K-8 charter school in Colorado's second-largest city, Colorado Springs. However, RMCA was split between two locations until the recent completion of a $17m, 100,000sq.ft building to house all of its 1,000 students, with additional room to grow school enrolment by 33%.

The building is community-oriented, featuring lots of open areas and gathering spaces with an abundance of natural light. Among them are an adjacent gymnasium and auditorium. With a clever arrangement of movable partitions, the two facilities share a stage that can be used for a wide range of events. When unforeseen budgetary issues threatening the audio/video systems in both rooms, the school district hired local A/V integration firm Sight & Sound Technologies to engineer a fix that would preserve the hoped-for functionality and reliabilit

UK - SGM were again one of the major sponsors at the third e-Luminate Cambridge Festival - occupying two iconic sites, St John's College Tower and King's College Chapel, and bringing them to life with their powerful IP65-rated LED fixtures.

While Jack Beccegato from Zero Kb designed the set piece for King's College Chapel, Daniel Kirby from SGM UK created the concept for the St John's College Tower lighting. Six G-Spots were used by Beccegato to illuminate the front of the Chapel, while the St. John's Tower was animated with the stunning used or 11 P-5 RGBW wash lights.

Also playing a central role in the Festival was SGM customer, Hawthorn, under the coordination of the company's Cambridge based head of sales and marketing, Rachel Waterfield. Hawthorn also supplied all the power and rigging for the SGM lights.

The festival, co-founded by Alessandra Caggiano and Hugh Parnell

UK - In support of their forthcoming second album, This Is All Yours, alt-J recently played a headline show at London's 20,000-capacity O2 Arena. For this show - the band's largest to date - XL Video supplied a bespoke LED screen and camera IMAG package.

Working with production manager, Bennie Brongers; lighting, video & rigging co-ordinator, Mike Oates; show designer, Jeremy Lechterman, and Jackson Gallagher from Fragment Nine, XL were tasked with supplying an LED screen solution for Jeremy's creative design.

XL Video utilised 270 tiles of their popular Pixled F-12 LED, along with 154 of XL's own custom touring frames to create horizontal strips of LED across the width of the O2 stage. The empty frame rows revealed lights including Showtec Sunstrips and other lights were attached to the spacers between the LED.

XL's Project Managers, Phil Mercer and Jay Mobbs-Beal, w

USA - EDM may appear like a lot of random flashing, but puts a lighting console through a stress test quite unlike any other. Without the luxury of a script or a set list, the EMD lighting designer has to create an infinite series of dramatic looks that match the feel of the music and support the strong video images that are another hallmark of the genre.

Tom Schneider, an ETC tech and console trainer in the company's Hollywood office, has designed and operated EDM shows since he was old enough to sneak out of the house to light raves in warehouses. He believes that Eos is the perfect tool for the job - "What really sets this console apart from other high end consoles is the effects engine. It's pretty cool. The effects engine is programmable to anything I could possibly want."

While big US events like Electronic Daisy Carnival, Electric Zoo and the Ultra Music Festi

USA - Some may say bigger is better when it comes to speakers, but in this case Avalon Hollywood's owner and audio expert John Lyons says, "It's a matter of being louder, cleaner and clearer."

The new system, which was unveiled during Grammy weekend at Hollywood's historic venue Avalon two weeks ago, features Powersoft's new M-Force technology - and is claimed to be the world's largest subwoofer club installation ever.

While other venues may opt for sound systems featuring a du jour brand, Avalon has its own namesake speaker series. No stranger to conceptualizing game changing speakers, owner John Lyons is an audio expert responsible for installing sound systems at some of the world's leading nightclubs.

Making this new speaker a realisation is a feat that Lyons and premier audio engineers at EAW and Powersoft have worked rigorously for two years to perfect. "

UAE - A new company, Broadcast Wireless Systems, has been established to offer expertise, agility and objective advice on specialist broadcast RF requirements and will make its debut at CABSAT 2015 in Dubai in March.

Formed by wireless experts Stuart Brown and Max Zaja, with more than 60 years' experience between them with the likes of Cobham, Link Research, Tandberg/Ericsson, Vislink and the BBC, Broadcast Wireless Systems now provides high-level sales, service and support of best-in-class wireless systems from a variety of manufacturers.

Broadcast Wireless Systems commercial director Stuart Brown said, "Our depth of experience means that we can design and implement bespoke wireless products and systems that precisely meet client needs for specific applications.

"New technologies now enable production teams to reliably reach places on land, sea or sky, limited onl

South Africa - Wild & Marr, the South African distributor for Harman Professional, will be hosting two exciting Harman BSS Audio workshops in Johannesburg during March 2015. The workshops will be presented by Justin Hankey, Application Engineer for Networking and Installed Sound at Harman.

The target audience for the classes would primarily be AV Programmers and Systems Integrators as well as audio designers and anyone else in the professional audio industry that require a better understanding of Audio Architect, networked audio signal processors and digital audio networking protocols and systems.

The first workshop is an Introductory Course to HiQnet Audio Architect, which is the software platform that is used to configure, control and monitor BSS Audio Soundweb London and the Crown DriveCore Install Network Series.

Soundweb London is an award-winning product line of digita

USA - The second edition of PLASA Focus Orlando, the regional event for the live entertainment technology industry, has been branded a resounding success by both visitors and exhibitors alike. Attracting record numbers of attendees, the popular event offered networking opportunities and hosted many over-sold education sessions presented by top industry speakers including Richard Pilbrow - lighting designer, theatre design consultant and author and Jim Hutchison, customer engagement and education manager for Chauvet Professional.

Taking place on 17-18 February at the Rosen Plaza Hotel, PLASA Focus Orlando proved to be a vibrant networking hub for 64 live entertainment technology brands and more than 840 attendees. "This has been by far the best PLASA Focus event so far," said Geoffrey Platt, product training specialist at TMB. "We had steady, quality visitors each

UK - Clay Paky fixtures have delivered an epic rock show for metalcore five-piece Bring Me The Horizon's sold out date at the SSE Arena Wembley, with lighting designer Ben Inskip choosing them for their power and aerial effects.

The Sheffield-born group has recently been experimenting with video content, leading to the incorporation of a large upstage projection surface in the design for Wembley - their biggest show to date. To complement this, Inskip specified Clay Paky Sharpys, Alpha Beam 700s and Alpha Beam 300s from leading rental company Siyan.

"My aim was to create an interesting overhead truss layout that would work with the projection instead of fighting it," says Inskip. "I then used eight Sharpys on a downstage Chevron-shaped truss to create wide architectural looks that extended to the overhead set up. They were fantastic for creating some really inte

Germany - Having updated the audio systems in its Ü2 and Ü3 radio OB trucks back in 2013, Bavarian public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) operates integrated systems of Lawo production and on-air products. At its Nuremberg Regional Studio, BR is now replacing another two aged OB vans (Ü1 and Ü2) with new vehicles that have a largely identical configuration.

Mixes of all kinds are handled by Lawo mc²66 consoles, providing the recording, sources and TB signals needed for large-scale live events using a sapphire mastercard-equipped DALLIS router frame. The different processes are visualized and operated by way of a multi-page graphical user interface with touchscreen operation. This is where the VisTool software provided by Lawo's radio tools portfolio comes into its own. For the playout - also in multichannel mode - it is possible to dock a sapphire console at any time.

UK - CPL brought more festive sparkle to an independent Bristol based energy supplier, when they delivered full technical production - video, sound, lighting and rigging - for their Christmas conference and party, again working for producers Bright.

The event was staged at Bottle Yard Studios in Bristol - a vast and charismatic former bottling factory now transformed into a lively film and TV studio facility. However, the actual area utilized for the party had not previously been used as an event space, so it was specially modified for the occasion.

CPL's crew of 12 were led by project manager Simon Haydon and they worked closely on site with Bright and set and stage builders, Flat Earth.

The event area was divided into two. The largest space, Room 2, was built as a plenary conference environment during the day for 400 delegates, and then completely transformed into a large,

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